I am utterly inspired by what’s happening at the University of Missouri. Yes, because it showcases the best of our next generation and all that they have to teach us.
I’m also inspired because it’s another sign that spring is coming.
In our past three winters (the American Revolution, the Civil War and Reconstruction, and the Great Depression), we have regenerated into a country that works better for more people.
And part of the reason we were able to regenerate was because some people “crossed a line” and stood with others, for something bigger than themselves.
- In the American Revolution, people fought for the idea that all people — not just some who were lucky enough to be born into the British land-owning class — should have the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
- The Civil War, America’s second winter, was fought to emancipate slaves, to extend the idea of freedom-for-all to include Blacks. It took a white President, Abraham Lincoln, and a series of white legislators, to cross the racial line, and make that the rule of law.
- During America’s third winter, the Great Depression, America again had a gut-check. Who are we for? And what are we for? America stood with farmers (for crop insurance) and small investors (for FDIC insurance and the poor (social welfare) and many others.
Now at Mizzou, Black athletes are crossing the field and standing with other Black students. White athletes are crossing the racial line and standing with their Black teammates. And coaches are crossing the administration line and standing with their players.
This is how progress is made. This is how lines get crossed, and then erased. This is how we transform into a country that works better for more people.